Positive fundraising news for WATSAN from many sources!

Thanks to various fantastic fundraising efforts and generous donations, WATSAN has significantly improved its financial position since the end of 2019.

When we last contacted our supporters with a newsletter in December, WATSAN’s financial situation was looking somewhat bleak. However, we are delighted to be able to share several pieces of good news, thanks to the support of our dedicated donors:

  • Emma Houghton, our WATSAN representative in Bishops Waltham, Hants, acted rapidly just before the Covid-19 lockdown to organise a very popular quiz night, which raised over £1,000 for WATSAN. Perhaps the last fun event for some time, alas…
  • Bishops Waltham Rotary Club also came up with £7,800 to alleviate the stressed water situation at Kinyasano school in Rukungiri.
  • Janet Campbell, who accompanied us on the very first WATSAN supporters’ tour back in 1997, died in late January aged 92. She and her family requested that gifts in her memory should be directed to WATSAN and a substantial sum was raised following her memorial service in March. WATSAN was represented at the memorial service by long-term supporters Tim and Margie Bushell.
  • Another faithful supporter, Joyce Currie, celebrated her 95th birthday this month with 30 birthday cards, and although now very frail, remembered WATSAN with a cheque, as she regularly does.
  • Our Patron, Bishop Andrew, used a favourite WATSAN image of a small girl in Ruhega village drawing water from a newly constructed tapstand for his 2019 Guildford Diocesan Christmas card, and donated to WATSAN the amount he would have spent on commercially produced cards.
  • Another £500 arrived from a family trust who support us from time to time.
  • An anonymous donation of £4,000 appeared from nowhere during March, for which we are extremely grateful!
  • Nykabungo school, where WATSAN has been improving both sanitation and the water supply, will shortly have sufficient water for both the school and the local village community, thanks to a gift of £2,500 from the Mary Wood Trust, initiated by Clare and Oliver Ramsden, who regularly accompany us on the Walk for Water weekends. Clare and Oliver returned recently from a visit to Uganda, which included Nykabungo, sadly cut short by the arrival of Covid 19 in Uganda.

And of course our warmest thanks to our 45 or so regular and committed supporters. Without your financial help WATSAN simply could not continue.

Read more about our donors

Good progress on work at Kihihi Hill as project moves to final implementation

Following our fundraising appeal, we are delighted to have started making much-needed sanitation improvements at Kihihi Hill. 

At Christmas we appealed to our generous supporter base to help us get over the line at Kihihi Hill. This community was desperately in need of revived sanitation, with female pupils at the local high school sharing one squalid toilet cubicle between 64 girls. Thanks to the usual spirited response from our supporters, alongside a successful pitch at The Funding Network in London, we were able to send funds to the field and the team has completed much of the work already.

The two six-stance pit latrines that were the fundraising focus have now been constructed – one for the girls in Kihihi High School (pictured above), and one in the neighbourhood church. In their report to trustees for the first quarter of 2020, the team writes:

“This latrine consists of well aerated 6-stances of pit latrine and a changing room for girls. In addition, there is a provision for a ramp for the disabled girls, a provision for emptying the pit latrine once it fills up, a 300-litre rain water harvesting facility (tank) where girls wash their hands immediately after accessing the facility, and a front curtain wall for privacy purposes of the people using the latrine. We are happy to report that the above facility has so far been of a great help, especially in the reduction of congestion for girls accessing latrines within the school.”

Restrictions around the COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda had slowed progress on this project, and in particular this may affect their ability to carry out some of the ‘software’ (education) elements of the project. Whilst the ‘hardware’ (construction) components are still able to go ahead, the coronavirus crisis risks putting the WATSAN staff team and their projects in financial peril, for example because the cost of living is increasing and jobs within families may be very precarious.

We are therefore not resting on our laurels and are continuing to fundraise concertedly to ensure that WATSAN can supply some stability, and crucially continue to deliver water and sanitation to some of the most deprived communities in Uganda – something that will be all the more important in the present context, where awareness of and facilities for hand washing are even more critical than usual.  Our next priority water and sanitation project will therefore be announced soon, for which we will urgently need funds, alongside funding a new truck for the team on the ground.

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Chris Dunckley, aged 9, supports new WATSAN motorbike

Budding actor Chris appeared in the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert on ITV, and chose to give part of his fee to WATSAN.If you saw the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert on ITV, you may have seen Chris Dunckley taking the starring role as Nick the Sweep. Chris chose to give part of his fee towards the purchase of the new motorbike for WATSAN’s Kinkiizi Link Person Moses Kabarebe.

Matt, Chris’s Dad, is well known to many of or supporters as our much-loved medic on the bi-annual WATSAN walks. His wife Jenny, also a doctor, and the two boys Jono and Chris, walk with us too when their sporting commitments allow.

The other half of the cost of the motorbike was generously contributed by the late Sir John and Lady Sheila Houghton, long-term supporters of WATSAN.

Pictured below is the motorbike proudly straddled by Moses. WATSAN’s Field Director Eric Baingana says: “The motorbike was picked from Toyota Uganda LTD-Kampala on 27th January, 2020. Then we took it to Kinkiizi for commissioning by Bishop Dan, after which it was handed over to Moses for use. Many thanks for those great efforts to buy it.”

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WATSAN to pitch at The Funding Network’s London event

The live crowdfunding event in January 2020 will allow us to present to an audience of donors and request funds for better sanitation at Kihihi Hill.

The Funding Network‘s live crowdfunding events are about raising money collectively, in one evening, for causes the audience believes in. At the events, an audience of donors meets and hears from four charities with solutions to social issues. Each of them has six minutes to talk about the change they are making and how donors can support them, plus six minutes for questions. Once that’s done, an expert pledge master takes the audience through an auction of pledges, after which each charity takes away funds for their cause.

We are thrilled that WATSAN has been selected as one of four charities to pitch at The Funding Network’s New Year event on 22nd January 2020 at Goodman Derrick LLP in central London. Trustee Kate Parrinder will once again put WATSAN’s case to an audience of donors, having succeeded in raising over £5,000 at a Funding Network event in Oxford in 2018 (pictured above). The pitch will centre on funds needed for two new toilet blocks in Kihihi Hill, plus the associated health and hygiene education.

Kate will argue that dignified, clean sanitation is not just about loos; it has spectacular knock-on effects, starting with improving health, but leading to rocketing attendance records and exam results, which ultimately creates sustainable economic prosperity for the whole community.

If you would like to attend this event and watch the pitch, please sign up here.

WATSAN funding partners bring over £42k to the project

WATSAN is most grateful to partners Tearfund and The Rotary Club for funding two major transformative water and sanitation projects in Uganda.

The Rotary Club of Bishop’s Waltham have raised £7,300 for a project at Kinyasano Girls High School. The water and sanitation need at this school reached crisis mode when the borehole pump, which was the only supply that could span the dry season, failed. WATSAN has already installed a replacement hand-operated pump, and the Rotary funding will allow us to protect a new spring and supply clean and dignified sanitation to the school.

Longstanding WATSAN partners Tearfund have now contributed £35,000 to Phase 2 of an ambitious gravity flow scheme at Buhunga. More than 60% of the population in the project area draw water from unprotected springs, ponds and streams, and the rest fetch from a few and distant protected springs. When Phase 2 is complete, nine tapstands will serve over 2,000 people with first-time improved water supply, integrated with sanitation facilities and health and hygiene education.

Our heartfelt thanks to our funding partners, who have given WATSAN the opportunity to have a huge impact on these two communities.

Find out more about our planned projects